The civil justice system has been in a constant flux in the past decades due to changes in society and litigants’ behaviour, as well as the increased factual and legal complexity of cases. The number of cases has been steadily increasing in many countries while the available budget required for more judicial staff, improving judicial case management, digitalisation of processes, and the required specialisation, has not in all instances increased at the same pace. This was worsened as a result of the recent financial crisis that affected many countries around the globe and has prompted governments to cut back on public expenditure. Austerity further challenges the demands of effective justice within a reasonable time,1 as is in the European context notably enshrined in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The financial crisis also led to a decrease in the funding of legal aid by the government in a number of countries, challenging access to justice for more vulnerable litigants in particular.

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Keywords austerity, civil procedure, simplified procedures
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Series Erasmus Law Review
Journal Erasmus Law Review
Kramer, X.E, & Kakiuchi, S. (2015). Austerity in Civil Procedure and the Role of Simplified Procedures. Erasmus Law Review, 8(4), 139–146. doi:10.5553/ELR.000057